Friday, July 22, 2011

Comfort Ye, Comfort Ye My People!

Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Isaiah 40:1

There are some very serious news events to share and that was my intention for this post.  However, as I sit here at the keyboard I feel the need to share a message of strength from the word as the world around us seems to be reeling in confusion.  The Holy Spirit then confirmed this with a couple of discussions with some who are under tremendous pressure to the place they do not think they can go on.  This must be what Isaiah was sensing when he wrote the 40th chapter of his book.

The world then was just as chaotic.  The Assyrians had recently crushed the Kingdom of Israel and Samaria.  Judah's leaders had looked to Egypt for assistance and made a covenant that was referred to as a covenant with death.  They did not trust the Lord and the nation was in need of renewal and revival. Nations were rising and falling like dominoes.  Sin seemed to be overtaking righteousness.  Idols were praised throughout the land and the true servants of God, the remnant of the faithful who had lost respect for the religious, the political, and the economic leaders of their nation were pressured, fearful, and left wondering what the day would bring.  Does it sound familiar?

God saw the worried hearts of His faithful children.  He wanted nothing more than for them to wait for His help and cast their cares on Him.  The Lord commanded Isaiah to comfort his people.  There are two types of comfort.  There is the comfort we get that soothes the soul and settles our tossed emotions.  On the other hand, there is comfort that imparts vitality and strength to one who is ailing.  God had both on His mind; Comfort ye, comfort ye my people.  God's comfort starts with salvation.  Isaiah then discusses God and the grace that brings salvation in verses 1 to 11.  God spared no expense in the sacrifice of Christ for our sin, so do you think he will not equally care for us who call to him for help today?  His grace is sufficient!

From there Isaiah was inspired to write about God who is able to perform that which he purposes in verses 12-26.  His message--calm down and stand strong!  YHWH can!  He is the Creator of all there is.  His power is unmatched and unparalleled.  He carefully created the world for man.  He measured the heavens with a span (the distance from thumb to the little fingertip with an outstretched hand--we serve a mighty BIG GOD!).  He measured the oceans and weighed the earth.  He did this all by His own knowledge and had/has no counselor.  He sees the nations as but a drop in a bucket.  The people are but fine dust on a scale.  He is most worthy of praise and all of the cows and trees of Lebanon--or all the earth for that matter-- are not enough to give Him His due.  The tribes of the earth are as nothing to Him.  He makes kings and leaders to rise and he makes them to fail.  He reigns above all the heavens and the earth.  He is so powerful, high, and mighty that the heavens are like a camper's tent pitched alone in the desert.  He created the multiple billions of stars and leads them as one leads a parade.  He knows them all by name!  Who is like GOD ALMIGHTY?  He is able!  God can!  Baruch HaShem Achim ve Achayot B'Mashiach!  (Bless His name brothers and sisters in Messiah!)

Isaiah closes this masterful chapter with the reminder that this power is behind you!  He reminds us in verses 27-31 that God is on our side and His divine enabling is there for you!  Our God never tires, never faints, never fears, never fails, and never worries.  He is not wringing His hands in concern and trying to outwit His enemies.  He has already won!  His understanding of all that has been, is, or will be is perfect. He who dwells in the realm of eternity past, present, and future already knows the outcome. He sees His many enemies' futile and vain attempts to cast off His sovereign rule and He laughs.  He sees the vanity of the rulers of the world in rising against His glory.  He sees all that is happening everywhere and nothing escapes His sight.  God gives of His omnipotent power to you to sustain you in the best and worst of times.  The people of the world may tire and fall down but God's children who wait and call upon Him will mount up--and soon!

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:29-31

I'll share some news and events tomorrow.  Today, rest in Him and draw from His strength.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Will You Bow? Persecution On The Rise Around Us

And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.
He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.
Daniel 3:6&25

"All you have to do, boys, is worship this image," said the King.  He continued, "We'll supply the worship music and you shout the praise!"  He further stated, "If not I'll destroy you and who is there that can save you?"  
"Our God is quite able to deliver us, Sire, but even if He does not we will not bow,"the three Hebrew boys replied.
At this, King Nebuchadnezzar had them thrown into the fire.  It was heated 7 times hotter than it was ever heated before.  Later, he was the one singing praise as the Fourth Man walking in the fire showed up.
This story is a classic to read to children, but the events it outlines and the direction that our world is heading is not a child's bedtime story!  It is a present reality.

Always pay attention to repetition in the Bible.  God has a purpose in the way He inspired scripture and subtle things sometimes add to our understanding.  The actual event of throwing the Hebrew heroes in the fire takes up less space then the decree to worship, and why mention the instruments used to call worship four times?  Really, the instruments are mentioned four times.  "That at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and all kinds of musick, ye fall down and worship..." Daniel 3:5.  These instruments were repeated again in verses 7, 10, 15.  Why did they mention the instruments four times--basically the writer did what I just did.  Why?

He was drawing your attention to the number four. They were mentioned four times because four is a number symbolic of the world in scripture. The point the author is making is that the world is trying by force to make believers follow their tune.  The message is, "fall in line with our ways or else!" What makes this story more important to us today is that worldly control of belief is growing around us as we draw closer to the great prostitute religious system of the Tribulation where all religious concepts are united into one amalgamated mess.  There will be a time when believers will be called to give an account for their authentic faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ.  Persecution, my friends, is on the rise in Western Society.  

Jesus warned that oppression would occur in the last days, yet most seem blissfully unaware that persecution and hate towards believers is seething across lands once bastions for the cause of Christ.   Jesus repeated this warning three times, "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22--Also see Mark 13:13 and Luke 21:17)"

Like the Jews who were vilified and then robbed of their rights, possessions, livelihood, property, family, and ultimately their lives in Nazi Germany, Christians in the West are being vilified at every turn.  Now their right to earn a livelihood is threatened as godlessness veils the world.  In New York, the Governor, the protector of the peoples rights in a state, is saying that Christians need to play by the states wicked music or face termination.  (Where is this story in the pro gay Christian biased news media?)   Christian Clerks Face Same-Sex License Showdown | Worthy Christian News

Because the pledge mentions God, a judge in Texas has ordered that a county clerk who said the pledge of allegiance be investigated for disrupting a meeting.

Just a couple of months back, Christians were banned from being able to provide foster care in Britain over their issues of faith and views of homosexuality.  

Can you hear the music?  It is calling you to bow and worship the world and its ways.  Before you do remember the awesome price of the blood of Christ shed for your forgiveness.  Think of the many today who are testifying by their blood to the faithfulness of God in Christ Jesus.  Also remember that the writing is already on the wall for this world.  The prince of this world has been judged and has a certain appointment in the abyss and then an eternal lake of fire. God has weighed the world in the balances and found it lacking.  Stand true!  Surely Jesus Christ is Soon 2 Come!

Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing.
Isaiah 40:15

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Sad and Certain Fate

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4

Of all of the events that happen in the last days, the rise of deception seems to be the most fearful.  Earthquakes, disasters, wickedness, and other like events tend to bring fear that often draws men to God. Deception, however, is not effective unless the deceived cannot perceive the ruse.  In other words, most do not discern they are being deceived until it is too late.  Like a fish to a lure or a turkey to a call, many are being drawn to something appealing that has spiritual death attached to it.

And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2 Corinthians 11:14

Paul warned of this deception as did John, Peter, Jude, and even Jesus.  There would be so much false teaching that it would draw many away to follow after unbiblical teaching.  This would be so prevalent as to make the love of many wax cold and cause there to be a falling away from truth.  While this has been a topic on this blog before, it is worth noting again as the lies and demonic doctrines proliferate.  Jesus was so concerned about this that it was always the first point He made when talking about the last days.  Not only was it His first point, but He closed each discourse on the last days with a warning to not be deceived as well.  "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect (Mt 24:24)."   

Let's look at some of the deception that is running rampant in "Christian " circles over the last few weeks.  On June 23rd hundreds of folks gathered in the woods of Eastern North Carolina for the Wild Goose Festival.  What sane Christian would attend any festival with a name that is the Celtic equivalent for the Holy Spirit.  What a blasphemous name!  Yet, this festival billed for liberal Christians was nothing more than a revised pagan festival. 
Wild Goose Festival 2011: Justice, Spirituality And The Arts (VIDEO)

Not only are some mixing pagan philosophies from long ago with Christianity, there are those trying to unite Christ with other false ideologies and prophets.  These are sure sign that the world is being prepared for the rise of the false prophet and mystery Babylon, the last days one world religion.
Muslims Will Be United With Christians to Strive Against Atheists and Darwin | God Discussion
The Interfaith Alliance” and Islam, followup. | Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry  

We also know that God and His word are unchanging as the prophet Malachi reveals.  "For I am the LORD, I change not;... (Malachi 3:6a)  As mentioned many times before, any action that brought judgment on mankind in the past will bring judgment again.  So why are many "preachers" sanctioning things in the name of God when it is clear that they are actually being led by the god of this world?  

All of this deception is just the tip of the iceberg.  This post deals mostly with religious deception. Yet, the treachery is spreading in the guise of one government, subtle media programming, and a whole host of other forms that are just too long to list.  However, those promoting deception are the ones most duped.  They are but mere puppets on the string of a fallen angel and his many wicked cohorts.  As surely as Christ defeated them already at Calvary, they have a sad and certain end.  It is a sad and certain fate as well for any man or woman who will not call on the Lord to save them from this last days smokescreen barrage. 

And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Revelation 19:20
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet [are], and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Revelation 20:10
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
Revelation 20:14-15

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What Ever Happened To Men Like William Wilberforce?

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
John 8:36

One of my favorite books is the classic by William Wilberforce entitled  A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity.  (Modern versions are usually just titled Real Christianity)  Wilberforce was very concerned that his reader should understand the overwhelming difference between a cultural Christian and the genuine article--one who walks with Christ in the full pardon of their sins and seeks to walk in the liberty of Christ while witnessing to others of that same liberty. 

In 1785 Wilberforce had what he termed as a conversion experience that drew him into a deep, consistent devotion to Jesus Christ.  Since William was a Member of English Parliament, he was not sure that he could stay in politics as a believer.  He wrestled with leaving politics for a line of work pursuing Christ and ministry.  Two men, William Pitt the future Prime Minister and John Newton (writer of "Amazing Grace") convinced William to continue serving the public and serve Christ in the public arena.   Shortly after this William began to realize that believers should always seek to better society as a whole.  Furthermore, he felt that a Christian should do all within his/her power to set things right and enact legislation that gave men liberty while seeking to stop those with power who followed their own sinful ends.  It is for this he is most famous.  

Beginning in 1786 he began pushing a bill in Parliament to abolish the slave trade in England and all its colonial possessions.  He would see Christ as one who set men free and not an enforcer of slavery.  Much effort was put into stopping the trade and ultimately abolishing the practice of slavery.  After 21 years of dogged determination the Slave Trade Act stopped the trade in March of 1807. The effort was continued onward by like minded men after his withdraw from Parliament until the practice of slavery was totally abolished in 1833 throughout all British Territories.  From teaching Sunday School to creating the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Wilberforce worked to create laws that liberated men from wicked practices and not enslave them.  Where are those who pursue laws that free men from sin while seeking the betterment of all of civilization and not just a select minority who wish to maintain sinful practices for their own benefit while tearing down the very fabric of Christianity in their nation?

Before you listen to the foolish dribble of saying that you cannot legislate morality, what are the laws of the land?  Are they not the morality of that land?  Are they not the observances and moral codes that control the conduct of the citizens of that land?  The laws of a land are the morality of the land.  They were epitomized by God in the Torah which is often also referred to as the LAW of Moses.  A further study of history will show these to be the underpinnings of many societies.  A country, therefore, that passes immoral laws is in trouble with the ultimate lawgiver--God.

In the last few weeks we have seen the passage of laws that tear down society and enslave men, women, and children to wretched sinful practices.  We have seen another state enact laws against traditional marriage under the banner of "freedom" with mantras like "who is it going to hurt"?  It hurts everyone!  How many sins did it take in the Garden of Eden to cause us all of this trouble still today?  Since the passage of this abomination there are those who will now seek to adopt children and twist their minds with sinful practice--and we think this does not hurt society?  Gay marriage raises prospect of NY adoption boom - US news - Life -

Some are now advocating the legalization of of other sinful practices as well.  Don't you know that,  "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump...(Galatians 5:9)?"  'Sister Wives' stars challenge Utah bigamy law -  Soon, we will have those who wish to legalize bestiality, necrophilia,  and pedophilia!  Don't tell me sin does not hurt society and enslave men.

What about the wicked practice of brainwashing young people?  Is that not sin?  Yet, California is going to require children to learn of this wickedness in public schools despite what the parents say!  This is not wicked?  It is not sin?  It is not enslaving? Where is the freedom granted a Christian parent to raise their child in the fear and admonition of the Lord? California Gov Signs Landmark Law to Teach Gay History -  

No!  These are all signs that men with power wish to enslave men to sin and all of its perverseness and consequences.  There are those passing laws that do not liberate but snare men with godless passions and ultimately cast them into God's pre-trial confinement facility--Hell!  After their case is heard at the judgment seat pictured as a Great White Throne by a Judge from whose face the heavens and the earth flee, they are imprisoned in a lake of fire forever and ever.  Their judge will leave no sin unmentioned and no motive unreviewed.  Each  will quiver and quake as they see the outstretched hands of the Judge still bearing the nail prints from where He paid for their release but His payment was mocked, His work was ignored, and His advocacy was refused.  What a terrible day for a sinner left undone and without the forgiveness of God that is only offered through the person of Jesus Christ.

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